Providence Community Corrections (PCC), a private for-profit organization, was the manager of the misdemeanor probation system for Rutherford County, Tennessee. Those who could afford to pay the fees were placed on unsupervised probation; those who could not were supervised by PCC. PCC was funded solely by the people it supervised. Probationers were threatened with arrest and revocation of probation which would result in additional fees and court costs. PCC advised the County on dispositions and extensions of probation. No inquiry was made as to the probationer’s ability to pay. PCC had the discretion to pay itself first from the fees paid by the probationers. Therefore, many indigent probationers continued to pay probation fees even after they had paid their original court costs.
Parties entered into a settlement September 2017. However, the court certified the class and rejected the settlement agreement. In January 2018, preliminary approval was granted for a settlement, and the final order for settlement was issued in July 2018. The settlement included:
- Settlement Fund: $14,300,000.
- $10000 for each named plaintiff.
- $50 per each month on probation after October 1, 2014, payable to every member of the class.
- 125% of the amount of money paid for fees to PCC from October 1, 2011 and October 1, 2014.
- Injunction: No person shall be held in jail for nonpayment of fines.
You can find a detailed summary and case documents via the Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse.